Coal workers in British Columbia are bracing for leaner times. The price of metallurgical coal, which is used to make steel, has fallen by about 40 per cent since the summer and Teck Resources, which operates four mines in the province’s Elk Valley region, is warning employees there will be layoffs.
In a letter dated Sept. 26 from Robin Sheremeta, Teck’s senior vice president of coal, to all employees at the four operations, the company noted the price of coal had dropped from approximately $210 per tonne to about $130 per tonne in a few weeks.
The letter outlined Teck’s plans to save money, which include an immediate salary and hiring freeze, reduced and deferred training and job losses.
Dean McKerracher, the mayor of Elkford, B.C., a community in the Elk Valley, worked at Teck for 32 years and said the cuts are certainly going to hurt Elkford residents, many of whom depend on the company for a paycheck.
“They’ll do whatever they have to do to trim the fat, so to speak, for their operations,” said McKerracher Tuesday in a phone interview on CBC’s Daybreak South. “They’ll lay off as many employees as they can.”
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